The thermal baths in Évaux-les-Bains today

In this last video of the tour, the past and the present collide in this look at how the current spa facility was gradually built near the remains and which parts of the ancient bathing pools were integrated into the modern installations.

The first part of the thermal baths and the Grand Hôtel that are in Évaux today were built between 1838 and 1847, in parallel with archaeological excavations that uncovered the Gallo-Roman ruins. The two perpendicular wings of the buildings face the outdoor baths, the only remnants from the antiquity era that have been preserved. The circular pool, once the caldarium, now serves to cultivate a seaweed with healing properties, while guests can now immerse themselves in the hot springs in the rectangular pool, which was once the frigidarium.

A large extension was built on the north side in 1900 with a round tower marking the transition between the two buildings. The stone façades of this wing are patterned with lines of red and white bricks, which was the style for the architecture of thermal spas, as well as multicoloured ceramic decorations that were typical of the Belle Époque. The overhang of the extravagant roof rests on consoles that create a relief at the top of walls.

A noteworthy fact about the lintels of the windows on the park side, as well as a beam of the building’s metal frame, is that they came from the Viaduc de la Tardes bridge, which was created by Gustave Eifel in the Évaux-les-Bains municipality. On 26 January 1884, this 250-metre-long rail bridge was hit by a violent storm that destroyed its floor, which was under construction. Following this disaster, the Eifel company took over and completed this work of art that overlooks the impressive height of the Tardes gorges. Debris from the storm’s destruction was reused here.

Treatment rooms can be found on the ground floor of the spa facility, while the first floor houses the restaurant and bar. The second floor, which was fully refurbished in 2021, has accommodation for those taking the waters. The additional building, which is entirely dedicated to treatments, was built in 2001.

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